Monday, 15 September 2008

Training Doesn't Work

Despite being all in favour of 'training', I'd be hard-pushed to actually find you any research 'proof' that training 'works'.

So it was with some interest that I stumbled on:

Short and long term effects of moped rider training: a field experiment
Charles Goldenbeld, Divera Twisk and Saskia de Craen
SWOV Institute for Road Safety Research, Duindoorn 32, P.O. box 1090, Leidschendam 2260 BB, The Netherlands

In a field experiment on moped rider training, young moped riders were tested one week before, two weeks after and eleven months after participation in a practical moped riding training course.

As a result of rider training the group trainees performed considerably better at a riding task than the group non-trainees two weeks after the training. However, this performance difference was not present anymore at follow-up testing 11 months later.
The group that did not follow the course significantly improved their driving skill. However, the group that had already improved their driving skill with the training, did not improve any further.

Those moped riders that improved most from the 16-h training course at the post-test also declined in performance considerably at the long term follow-up.

Knowledge that relies of an understanding of how behaviour should change in a dynamic situation was more strongly related to actual riding skill than knowledge that was based on memorising fairly straightforward situation-rule connections.

In fact, this probably reinforces a long-held view, that training 'short-cuts' real-World experience.

And, of course, if you take the 'learn by experience' route, then you have to survive the experience!

Which is another long-held view: other people's experience hurt less ;)

The final paragraph of that abstract emphasises that there's little point in training with 'rules for everything' - people have to know how to sort situations out using the most beneficial options, not the 'right' ones.

Interestingly, the 'trained' group improved no further. I strongly believe that training should, whenever, be done to help the riders improve on their own, by emphasising self-awareness and reflection, even for instructors.


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